Showing posts from September, 2017

Red-breasted nuthatch

Normally we don't have red-breasted nuthatches in the summer. They are around in the cooler weather looking for a quick meal. The cold front that came through Wednesday night brought this one to the pond.
Sitta canadensis The Red-breasted Nuthatch collects resin globules from coniferous trees and plasters them around the entrance of its nest hole. It may carry the resin in its bill or on pieces of bark that it uses as an applicator. The male puts the resin primarily around the outside of the hole while the female puts it around the inside. The resin may help to keep out predators or competitors. The nuthatch avoids the resin by diving directly through the hole. source -

Green heron, Rondeau Provincial Park, Sept 2017.

Another shot taken from the pontoon boat. It was busy having a bath and I don't think it noticed the boat as we drifted in.
Butorides virescens  Green Herons usually hunt by wading in shallow water, but occasionally they dive for deep-water prey and need to swim back to shore—probably with help from the webs between their middle and outer toes. One juvenile heron was seen swimming gracefully for more than 60 feet, sitting upright “like a little swan,” according to one observer.
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Ruby crowned kinglet.

A really fast little bird, it was tearing through the hedge snapping up food.
It paused just long enough to get a reasonably good shot.

It bounces through the pond but doesn't linger for a bath.

Regulus calendula 
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a tiny bird that lays a very large clutch of eggs—there can be up to 12 in a single nest. Although the eggs themselves weigh only about a fiftieth of an ounce, an entire clutch can weigh as much as the female herself.
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Eurasian Collared-dove

Our favourite bird spotter, Steve, knocked on the door this morning to tell us there was an Eurasian Collared Dove just down there road. He gave us directions and then made sure we found the dove where it wa sitting high in a tree. Not a lifer but still a rare sight around here.
Streptopelia decaocto The Eurasian Collared-Dove’s species name, decaocto, comes from Greek mythology. Decaocto was a servant girl transformed into a dove by the gods to escape her unhappy treatment; the dove’s mournful cry recalls her former life. source -

Carolina wren

We have had a number of Carolina wrens in the yard for the past 2 weeks.
Loud singers first thing in the morning.

Thryothorus ludovicianus

The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather, with the northern populations decreasing markedly after severe winters. The gradually increasing winter temperatures over the last century may have been responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the mid-1900s.
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Full size, no crop.

No crop, this is right out of the camera.
This isn't cropped, we actually got within 5 feet of this least bittern, by turning off the motor and drifting up to the bird. It is a fairly small bird at about 11 to 14 inches in length. For comparison an American robin is 9 to 11 inches.
It was out in the open on a weed mat and didn't pay any attention to us.
Ixobrychus exilis Thanks to its habit of straddling reeds, the Least Bittern can feed in water that would be too deep for the wading strategy of other herons. source -

Lethal weapon

Great blue heron. We were heading to the boat and notice this heron standing on the dock in front of us. Since it was cooperating I took his picture. That bill is a wicked looking weapon.
Ardea herodias Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision. source -

Black-crowned night heron

Hip Deep.
An immature black crowned night heron up to its belly at the edge of the marsh.
It watched us for a while and then disappeared into the reeds.
Nycticorax nycticorax A breeding Black-crowned Night-Heron will brood any chick that is placed in its nest. The herons apparently don’t distinguish between their own offspring and nestlings from other parents.
source -…/Black-crowned_N…/lifehistory

Belted kingfisher.

At the corner of the marina and the main channel are two old pilings.
Spotted this kingfisher monitoring the water nearby.
Just couldn't get close enough for a real close up, this photo is heavily cropped. Megaceryle alcyon
Belted Kingfishers are stocky, large-headed birds with a shaggy crest on the top and back of the head and a straight, thick, pointed bill. Their legs are short and their tails are medium length and square-tipped.
source -…/Belted_Kingfish…/lifehistory

An embarrassment of riches.

We don't often see ovenbirds and then usually just glimpses. Today was different, we had one visit and perch in the open.
I have so many good photos I didn't know which one to pick. This is one of the best ovenbird photos I took.
Seiurus aurocapilla On its breeding ground, the Ovenbird divides up the forest environment with the other warblers of the forest floor. The Ovenbird uses the uplands and moderately sloped areas, the Worm-eating Warbler uses the steep slopes, and the Louisiana Waterthrush and the Kentucky Warbler use the low-lying areas. source -

Philadelphia vireo.

Another of the pond visitors, a Philadelphia Vireo.

Unlike most birds that come to our pond vireos do a splash and dash bath.
They sit in the bush above the pond, fly down, hit the water and go straight back up to the bush.

Vireo philadelphicus
A bird of young deciduous woods, the Philadelphia Vireo is the most northernly breeding species of vireo. It is often overlooked because its more common relative, the Red-eyed Vireo lives in the same areas and gets most of the attention.
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Northern waterthrush, Rondeau Provincial Park. An unusual to the yard and pond.
This one stayed all day but was hard to see the majority of the time. They always seem to be behind a bush or clump of vegetation.

Parkesia noveboracensis The Northern Waterthrush is territorial in both winter and summer. On the breeding grounds the male proclaims its territory with its loud, ringing song. On the wintering grounds it uses its "chink" calls, together with chasing and fighting, to keep out intruders. source -

Canada warbler, eh.

First time in the yard this year, at least that we have seen.
Once again Anne spotted the bird moving through the top of the hedge.

Cardellina canadensis

A colorful, active warbler of northern forests, the Canada Warbler spends little time on its breeding grounds. It is one of the last warblers to arrive north in the spring, and one of the first to leave in the fall, heading early to its South American wintering grounds.
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Close up

This ruby-throated hummingbird landed about 5 feet from me.
I thought it would feed on the lone bell flower that was still open.
Archilochus colubris

Pink katydid, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Anne spotted this unusual katydid in the front yard. This is the second pink version we have seen over the years. The survival rate on pink katydids is low as they are easily seen by predators.
Katydid Tettigoniidae

Thirteen warbler species in the yard today.

Best one? Golden winged warbler, first for the yard and the first time I've gotten a decent photo.
Vermivora chrysoptera Golden-winged Warblers often hybridize with the closely related Blue-winged Warbler. The Blue-winged Warbler has been expanding its range, and hybridization has been one element in the sharp decline of Golden-winged Warblers. source -

Move along. There's nothing to see here.

At least that's what this American bittern is hoping.
We were out on the pontoon yesterday and had a very good day.
American bittern, least bittern and a sora.
Throw in a black bellied plover and other shore birds and it turned into a good day along the marsh and beach.
Botaurus lentiginosus
The American Bittern's yellow eyes can focus downward, giving the bird's face a comically startled, cross-eyed appearance. This visual orientation presumably enhances the bird's ability to spot and capture prey. The eyes turn orange during breeding season.
source -…/American_Bittern/lifehistory

Peregrine Falcon

We were out on the pontoon looking for shorebirds when we spotted a peregrine falcon floating over the trees looking for a meal.
He swooped around for about a minute before moving on.
Falco peregrinus The Peregrine Falcon is a very fast flier, averaging 40-55 km/h (25-34 mph) in traveling flight, and reaching speeds up to 112 km/h (69 mph) in direct pursuit of prey. During its spectacular hunting stoop from heights of over 1 km (0.62 mi), the peregrine may reach speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) as it drops toward its prey. source -